Nikki Haley endorsed by Asa Hutchinson, doubles down on her criticism of Trump

The former ambassador to the U.N. continues her campaign in New Hampshire, hoping to sway undecided voters. A recent survey revealed that it may not be enough.

Former Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson endorsed Nikki Haley's candidacy in the Republican primary Saturday. Hutchinson dropped out of the race after placing sixth in the Iowa caucus.

"Anyone who believes Donald Trump will unite this country has been asleep over the last 8 years," said the former governor on X (Twitter). "Trump intentionally tries to divide America and will continue to do so. Go [Nikki Haley] in New Hampshire."

Hutchinson never managed to take off in the polls. As he admitted in a statement after hearing the Iowa results, his anti-Trump rhetoric failed to convince Republican voters.

Hutchinson's announcement comes shortly after former candidates Tim Scott and Vivek Ramaswamy opted for Donald Trump.

Countdown to New Hampshire

The next primary will take place Tuesday in New Hampshire, where Haley is hoping for and needs a good result to continue her dream of snatching the nomination from Trump. An endorsement from New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu may be an important asset. In the moments leading up to the vote, Sununu has bolstered Haley's campaign by touring the state with her.

The former ambassador to the U.N. has also intensified her criticism of Trump. On Saturday she attacked the former president after he confused her with Nancy Pelosi when talking about Jan. 6: "I’m not saying anything derogatory, but when you’re dealing with the pressures of a presidency, we can’t have someone else that we question whether they’re mentally fit to do it." Concern about the ages of Trump and Biden, who are 77 and 81 years old, respectively, and the promise to represent the GOP of the future have been two of Haley's primary selling points from the beginning of her candidacy.

The Trump campaign was quick to respond. The former president's adviser Chris LaCivita tweeted hours later that Pelosi and Haley were essentially the same, though they have different names. Trump himself also responded to the criticism, asserting that he had changed the names on purpose, just as he did when he said Obama instead of Biden, to emphasize that the former is "running the show," and that he had recently "aced" a cognitive test.

Additionally, Haley has also emphasized polls showing she would beat President Biden if she wins the GOP nomination, while Trump would lose or win by a smaller margin.

Haley on the rise, but it may not be enough

A poll released this Sunday by Suffolk University/NBC10 Boston/Boston Globe shows Trump leading Haley by 19% in Tuesday's primary.

Trump, who won big in Iowa, is also projected to take New Hampshire, with 55% of the vote. Haley is forecast in second with 36%, while Florida Governor Ron DeSantis saw just 6% support in the poll.

Although the figure represents an improvement for the former governor of South Carolina, who rose 2% since the previous edition of the survey, Trump managed to grow even more, by 5%.

Even though Haley is doubling down on her efforts in The Granite State, it may be too late: 87% of respondents said it was unlikely that their preference would change before the election. Only 2% said they had yet to decide.